Let me tell you, this mama was just about to jump up and let “Deliverance” have it! That was my boy he was slandering, my boy who loves the game and plays it with all of his heart, my boy who knows exactly what he is doing on…
Based on the true-life story of Michael Oher who played football for the University of Mississippi, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, and eventually the Carolina Panthers, 2009’s The Blind Side is a must see film for many reasons. Not only is it a dramatic feel good story, it stars Sandra Bullock who walked away with several honors for her performance including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild.
This column isn’t really about the movie, although for anyone who has not seen it, I highly recommend watching. Rather this article is about my own personal experience closely mimicking one of my favorite scenes from the movie.
In the movie an over zealous fan, unaware that Sandra Bullock is #74’s mother says, “That’s my boy, Jimmy #66 kickin’ the blue gum’s ass.” As the scene plays out, she stands up and says, “Yo, Deliverance, you see #74? Well, that’s my son.” All the while, her husband, played by Tim McGraw sits quietly beside her laughing.
Our son Christopher plays linebacker at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and he’s good! Seriously y’all, I’m not just a biased mama, colleges don’t scout average players. Their conference is tough, with some fierce rivalries.
In my humble opinion, good football etiquette dictates that if you ain’t saying something nice about a player, then you best keep yo mouth shut! After all, just like in The Blind Side there’s a good possibility the mama of whomever you’re badmouthing is sitting within earshot.
On a warm fall evening, sitting in the visitor stands at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall another over zealous fan got a little carried away. Our son was on the punt return team for Hardin-Simmons. It was a short kick by East Texas, and his teammates were calling out the code for Chris to know the ball was close and he needed to run out of bounds, which was exactly what he was doing.
For reasons known only to God, ‘Deliverance’ yelled out, “Who’s that #35? He doesn’t know what he’s doing, he ought to be benched, what is his name?” After looking his number up in the program “Deliverance” continued, “Chris Miller. If I were the coach, I’d bench that boy.”
Let me tell you, this mama was just about to jump up and let “Deliverance” have it! That was my boy he was slandering, my boy who loves the game and plays it with all of his heart, my boy who knows exactly what he is doing on the field and did absolutely nothing deserving of criticism, and my boy whose number the announcer had been calling out all night, “On the tackle, #35 Chris Miller.” It was also my boy who ended the game that night as the leading defensive tackler for HSU.
Knowing this Mama Bear’s propensity for going 0 – 75 in .7 seconds, particularly where my baby boy is concerned, placing his hand firmly on my knee, my husband turned around and calmly said, “Sir, #35 is my son.” You should’ve seen the look on Deliverance’ face. He stammered, “I’m really sorry, I just want to win.” To which my husband responded, “So does he.”
On the way home, we rehashed what had occurred. My husband genially stated, “I knew immediately I had to jump up before you did, otherwise we were going to have a “Yo, Deliverance” moment just like in The Blind Side. I don’t think I would’ve called him Crotch Mouth like she did, more than likely it would’ve come out, “Hey Jack@$$…”
As the season progressed and Chris continued to wrack up tackles and get mentions in conference write ups, I wondered if “Deliverance” had a come to Jesus meeting where he realized the type of player Chris really is. He did.
This time it was a blustery winter afternoon in McMinnville, Oregon. We were patiently awaiting kick-off for the first round of championship playoffs when who should walk up to our seats, stop and say, “Your boy has really had a great season”. You got it, none other but “Deliverance” himself.
I just smiled and thought, “Mmm hmm, been feeling mighty guilty about those thoughtlessly spoken words I bet.” I will give him this, “Deliverance” was absolutely right. Chris had a stellar season, missing the equivalent of two games due to an injury, and still landing as the #3 defensive tackler. #thatsmyboy
What can we learn here? Well, what your mama has probably tried to instill since preschool, “If you ain’t got nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all,” especially within earshot of someone else’s mama!
Until Next Time,
Becky J Miller